Hester, Johnson Named to Pro Football Hall of Fame
CANTON, Ohio – Two of the greatest Miami Hurricanes in football history were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it was announced Thursday night.
Return specialist Devin Hester and wide receiver Andre Johnson are among those to be enshrined as members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024. Hester and Johnson become the first Hurricanes to be selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame since Edgerrin James in 2020.
They become the 10th and 11th Hurricanes to enter the Hall of Fame, joining James, Ted Hendricks, Michael Irvin, Jim Kelly, Cortez Kennedy, Ray Lewis, Jim Otto, Ed Reed and Warren Sapp.
Selected by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft, Hester would become the greatest returner in NFL history, setting records for most punt returns for touchdowns (14), and total special teams touchdowns (20 – 5 kickoffs, 14 punts, 1 missed field goal).
He was a four-time Pro Bowler in his 11 seasons with the Bears, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks. Among his most dominant campaigns was his rookie year of 2006, when he had six kick return touchdowns.
During his time with the Hurricanes, Hester finished with six return touchdowns – including a career-high three during a breakout 2004 campaign when he was named a first-team All-American by Walter Camp and The Sporting News. Born in Riviera Beach, Fla., Hester won the BIG EAST indoor long jump title as a member of the Miami track & field team.
Hester finished his three seasons at Miami with 41 punt returns for 638 yards, 40 kick returns for 1,019 yards, 24 carries for 160 yards, 10 receptions for 196 yards, 11 tackles, 1 sack, and five interceptions.
Johnson, selected with third pick of the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft, had a dominant career with the Houston Texans.
A seven-time Pro Bowler during his professional career, Johnson totaled over 1,000 catches, 14,000 receiving yards and had 70 touchdowns over his illustrious career. He was a two-time First-Team All-Pro selection, two-time Second-Team All-Pro pick and twice led the NFL in receiving yards.
After redshirting in 1999 and seeing limited action in 2000, Johnson claimed the starting job in his third campaign and proved to be one of the most dominating receivers in UM history. He finished 2001 with 44 receptions for 881 yards (20 yards per catch) and 10 touchdowns. Johnson was named co-MVP, with UMSHoF member Ken Dorsey, of the 2002 Rose Bowl National Championship game where he caught 7 passes for 199 yards, a UM Bowl record, and two touchdowns as the Canes claimed their fifth National Championship with a 37-14 rout of Nebraska.
Johnson ended his Miami careerwith 92 catches for 1,831 yards, the fifth-highest career total at the time of his departure, and a career average of 19.9 yards per catch. His 20 receiving touchdowns were tied for third-most in school history. In 2002, Johnson won the Big East 60-meter dash (6.83 seconds) at the BIG EAST Indoor Championship and followed that up by winning the 100-meter dash (10.59) at the BIG EAST Outdoor Championships.